ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee for Human Rights has approved the much-debated movie Zindagi Tamasha for screening, dismissing all religious objections raised against the film.
The film, which has been premiered at the 24th Busan International Film Festival in 2019, faced controversy back home after the right-wing Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called for protests against its scheduled release on Jan 24, alleging it was “blasphemous”.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who chairs the panel, said in a tweet that the committee “found nothing wrong” with the film, adding that the censor board “has our go-ahead to release” post-Covid-19 pandemic.
Senate HR committee has unanimously agreed with Censor board’s decision to allow screening of movie “zindagi tamasha”. We’ve found nothing wrong with it. Censor board has our go ahead to release post Covid. Detail reasoning to follow later.
— Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar (@Mustafa_PPP) July 14, 2020
In January, the TLP had called for protests against the film’s release in the country but cancelled its plans after the government said the movie will be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for review even after it was twice cleared by censor boards.
Later, in March, the Senate panel for human rights decided to take the matter in its hands and barred the CII from reviewing the film. The panel directed the Central Board of Film Censors to provide the committee a copy of the movie for screening, so the members could decide if its content was objectionable.
At the time, Khokhar had said that if the committee members found something objectionable in the movie, it would be forwarded to the CII.
He further said that the committee will “not come under anyone’s pressure” and that the “parliament will exercise its authority”. “We should not come under pressure of those parties who held Islamabad hostage twice,” Khokhar said while referring to the TLP.